The first volume of the Phonology Compendium celebrates Wandering Ear by showcasing three of the field recorders, Luis Antero, C. Fieldechoes, and Scott Sherk.
Wandering Ear is a netlabel dedicated to "field recording-oriented audio" from around the world. It began in 2006 and is co-curated by Nathan Larson and Mike Hallenbeck.
Featured here are several tracks recorded by Scott Sherk in and around Reykjavik, Iceland. These are tracks from Sherk's Icelandic Air (we009). He writes, "The twelve recordings that comprise the suite 'icelandic air' attempt to capture the various spaces and sonic environments of Iceland from the crunch of volcanic beach pebbles to the windblown fields of sheep to the cement interior of a cathedral."
From Iceland, C. Fieldechoes takes us to the salt mine Salina Praid in theTransylvania/ Harghita countryside of Romania. The field recording titled Subterranean Salt Echoes(we006) captures the natural reverb of crowds deep underground in the mine. C. Fieldechoes writes, "The 'Salina Praid' mine is used both for salt extraction and as a place for treating people with respiratory diseases. At the same time it is a tourist attraction... and down there the cave is designed like a miniaturized town....
"The journey to the mine itself is 1250 m long through the ramp transport tunnel and it is carried by bus. Then the entrance of the mini town, counting approximately 250 stairs, depth 260 m, leads to the big chambers; there are walls of salt everywhere. The recording starts from the last stairs to the cave entrance where you can sense the reverberating sound right away."
The final track was recorded by Luis Antero in and out of the industrial units of the city in the Oliveira do Hospital municipality of the old Coimbra district of Portugal. Antero states of his Factory Music (we016), "With this sound piece, I try to draw the attention of the listener to a certain musicality present in each of the factories, through its various unique and dynamic sounds. We have, for example, considered minimal sounds from the machines that occupy the spaces where we find one of the districts' graphics. On the other hand, many dynamic noises are present at the old component factory, i.e. metal, mechanics...."
The catalog of Wandering Ear is small, but each release is high quality. Each is a trip outside yourself to another part of the world.